A transcript released Monday from the New York Attorney General Letitia James reveals how CNN’s Chris Cuomo used contacts in media to assist his brother, former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, amid reports on the then-governor’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Text messages and the investigation transcript released by James show Cuomo discussing his brother’s statements with the governor’s then-top aide, Melissa DeRosa. Andrew Cuomo resigned from his position as governor in August following sexual assault allegations, however suggestions of resignation came as early as March 2021.
“I never covered my brother’s troubles because I obviously had a conflict,” the CNN host said on his show the week before his brother’s resignation, however, the transcript reveals that Cuomo may have had a slightly larger role outside of his show with regard to news reporting on the sexual misconduct allegations. (RELATED: REPORT: Chris Cuomo Advised His Brother On How To Handle Sexual Harassment Allegations)
According to newly released text messages, Cuomo appeared to lobby DeRosa to help prepare responses for his brother. “I panic every f*cking time I see your name… the talk is precarious,” she replied in one text. Cuomo also told investigators that he engaged with “sources,” as he described them, about forthcoming stories from media outlets, according to records.
Text messages suggest Chris Cuomo was feeding Melissa DeRosa (Andrew Cuomo’s top aide) info about the timing of Ronan Farrow’s piece on Andrew’s sexual harassment, retaliation.
(There was a period when all of Albany was walking on eggshells, waiting for a Farrow bombshell.) pic.twitter.com/4T1GKCBwDM
— Jon Campbell (@JonCampbellNY) November 29, 2021
“Please let me help with the prep,” the CNN host said on March 3, via text message to DeRosa.
“I have a lead on the wedding girl,” he said on March 4, referring to the allegations from Anna Ruch, accusing the former Governor of unwanted advances.
The CNN host was asked about how he got this information by investigators and was hesitant at first when asked for the name of the source, the transcript reveals. “I don’t know how that’s relevant,” he responded.
“It’s relevant to the credibility of the individual. So who is the person who you got the information from?” the investigator asked.
Cuomo would surrender the name of his source to investigators, which he said was not a journalist, the transcript shows. The investigators chose to redact the name in the transcript.
“I have irregular communication with Melissa DeRosa,” the CNN host told investigators, despite the text messages showing constant communication from Feb. 27 through to March 15, when the supplied messages end.
“Hey… Rumor going around from politico 1-2 more ppl coming out tomorrow… Can u check your sources,” DeRosa asked Cuomo three days later, to which he responded, “on it.”
“No one has heard that yet,” he replied 40 minutes later.
DeRosa sent a message on March 9 that reads, “Any allegation made – either directly or indirectly – is being forwarded to Joon Kim and Anne Clarke in real time. We are grateful that the AG has chosen two experience and diligent prosecutors to load up the review and look forward to cooperating full so that New Yorkers have all of the facts at its conclusion. The Governor’s previous statement that he has never touched anyone inappropriately stands.”
“Lose last,” Cuomo replied.
The CNN host also used his contacts to urge Alec Baldwin from talking about cancel culture calling it, “not necessary,” the New York Post reported. Text messages additionally show DeRosa asking on March 15 about “intel” the CNN anchor had on journalist Ronan Farrow, whose report about sexual misconduct allegations on Gov. Cuomo was published just days later, on March 18.
CNN issued a statement Monday, saying the organization would be reviewing the newly released document.
“The thousands of pages of additional transcripts and exhibits that were released today by the NY Attorney General deserve a thorough review and consideration,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said, according to CNBC. “We will be having conversations and seeking additional clarity about their significance as they relate to CNN over the next several days.”